I wondered what do Chihuahuas like to play with when my pet started using slippers and curtain tassels as its toys.
I realized I probably wasn’t providing my pet with adequate dog toys to stimulate and fuel her sharp IQ.
At the same time, I did not want to buy toys that my pet wouldn’t glance at, or worse, get scared of.
That is why I started researching ‘what do Chihuahuas like to play with’ because I wanted to only give her toys that she would actually love.
And that is the topic of today’s post. If you are wondering what do Chihuahuas like to play with, read on. I have a ton of information for you.
What Do Chihuahuas Like to Play With?
Are you looking to buy toys for your Chihuahua? Confused about which one is the best for your pet?
Dog toys come in different shapes, sizes, and functionality. The sheer variety is enough to confuse anyone!
There are no hard and fast rules. What one Chihuahua likes may or may not appeal to another. Every Chi has a different personality, temperament, and likes and dislikes. Over time, as a pet parent, you will come to know what your pet’s preferences are.
You might buy the best toy only to find that your Chi likes playing with its packaging!
So what makes the difference? Why is one toy more appealing than another? And more importantly, which toy should you buy for your Chi?
Most Chihuahuas like the following types of toys:
1. Teething toys or chew toys
Many Chihuahua puppies love chew toys or teething toys. Some of these are specially designed for small dogs like Chihuahua breed – they are easy to grip and small enough for your tiny dog small mouth. They are also not stuffed with cotton or other material, to prevent choking hazard.
Many teething toys are made with rubber or gel-filled food-grade synthetic materials. These are cooling and help soothe your small dog’s inflamed gums. Most importantly, teething toys are non-toxic and also clean the dog’s teeth. Some teething toys are made with fabric (plush toy) which massages the gums and reduces your pup’s teething pains.
2. Squeaky toys
Some Chihuahuas are downright scared of squeaky and noisy toys. So please make sure this isn’t the case with your Chihuahua before buying them.
For Chihuahuas that like noisy toys, a sturdy rubber squeaky toy can provide hours of entertainment and fun. Moreover, such toys also clean their teeth and remove tartar and plaque buildup.
3. Interactive toys
Chihuahuas are playful dogs by nature. They are also bred to be companion dogs which is why they love spending time with their humans.
This is also the reason they love interactive toys. Many interactive dog toys such as tug-of-war balls and rope toys also help you bond with your pet.
You could even encourage your children to participate in playing with your pet by throwing or pulling these interactive toys. Some of these toys also lightweight and water-resistant – so they can be used in the pool if you take your Chihuahua swimming with you.
4. Puzzle toys
A puzzle toy for dogs makes your Chihuahua think. While many Chis may not necessarily like such toys, they are invaluable in keeping your smaller dog entertained and occupied. They also stimulate your pet to prevent unwanted behaviors like excessive barking, destroying stuff, etc.
You can also fill up the puzzle toy with dog treats or food (something your Chi loves a lot) and your pet will be occupied for hours trying to get the treats out. It is one of the best ways to keep your Chi from getting bored or feeling lonely if you leave it alone at home.
How Does a Chihuahua Decide What Toys it Likes?
It is but natural to wonder why a Chihuahua is so picky when it comes to deciding ‘what do Chihuahuas like to play with?’
Chihuahuas are small dogs with ‘big’ personalities. They are smart dogs that need regular mental stimulation. Sure, they will gladly spend the day sleeping on the couch or by your feet, but you don’t want that, do you?
The thing is – when humans buy toys for their dogs, they often think what ‘they’ like and not what their dog likes.
Dogs don’t think like humans do. That is why their preferences in toys are different than human preferences.
A recent study in Animal Cognition can help us understand why dogs like certain toys. Here are the results of that study:
1. The evolutionary factor
Dogs look at toys the way their ancestors – wolves – look at food or prey in the wild. Any toy you bring for your Chi would first seem like ‘food’ to it. That is why so many dog toys are stuffed toy which is soft and pliable for your pet to chew upon for hours.
It is no wonder that many dog toy manufacturers have started applying interesting food scents such as bacon, meat, smoked barbecue, etc. on dog toys to make them more alluring for pets.
2. Dogs love squeaky noises
A few Chihuahuas prefer noisy or squeaky toys. Squeaky toys could make them feel less alone and may even be reassuring especially if the pet is prone to separation anxiety at being left alone.
No all Chis are fans of loud noisy toys though, so always confirm that before buying one for your pet.
3. Most dogs lose interest in the toy over time
A dog owner might bring fancy new toys for his/her Chi. The dog might play with them for a few days and later lose interest in them.
As in human babies and toddlers, dogs too tend to get familiar with a toy and resultantly lose interest in it. That is why dogs love variety and you might want to invest in new toys from time to time or get a bundle set like this one.
The advantage of bundle sets is that you can provide your Chi with a new toy every now and then to keep it from getting bored.
4. Dogs just want human interaction
Sometimes you simply have bring out your Chihuahua’s old toys out and pretend to get excited about them. This rekindles your Chi’s interest in those toys – just like it is a new toy. This is due to the fact that Chis love interacting with their humans and get excited when we get excited.
That is why interactive toys like rope toy, balls, and Frisbees are always a super-hit with most dogs.
Why Do Chihuahuas Need Toys to Play?
All dogs need to play.
You can use any style or any toy to vary the play, but playing is important to keep your Chi mentally and physically fit.
Here are the benefits of providing dog toys to your Chi:
1. Foster a loving bond between you and your dog
You can build a loving relationship between you, your kids and your Chi using interactive toys. Regular playtime strengthens the loving bond between you and your dog.
2. Helps exercise your Chi
A Chihuahua, despite being a small dog, still needs exercise. Toys help provide that exercise. In addition to physical exercise, your pet will also be mentally stimulated with playtime.
Toys and playtime are an excellent addition to obedience training. You can incorporate play during dog training sessions to keep them fun and to prevent your Chi from getting bored or frustrated. You can also add new and varied reinforcements to your regular training toolkit with toys.
4. Assist in behavior modification
Is your Chi anxious? Is it nervous? Aggressive? Often, rescued Chihuahuas display a wide range of such behavioral issues. Some dogs are super nervous and scared due to their past trauma and abuse. Toys and playtime can help prevent these issues and might even prevent these bad behaviors.
14 Simple Games to Play with Your Chihuahua
This is a question every Chi parent should ask. After all, that is what a Chi loves best –more than expensive toys, your dog simply wants to play with you.
Here are some great games to play with your Chi, indoor and/or outdoors:
- Ball or Frisbee – soccer, fetch
- Rope toy or tug toy
- Hide and seek
- Which hand holds the treat?
- Easter egg hunt/treasure hunt/ find the treats
- Jumping and catching (teach your Chi to jump over your knee, or over a bar, jump rope)
- Jump through hoops
- Obstacle course – crawl through a tunnel, climb a small step ladder, weave poles, etc.
- Teach your dog to dance – circle to your left/right, heel forwards/backwards, etc.
- Teach your dog to count
- Bring objects when you say the name
- Pick a card from the deck
- Find the object with its scent
- Teach your dog to give you a kiss/close your eyes with its paws, wave goodbye!
Do Chihuahuas Get Bored when Alone?
A Chihuahua pup will happily spend hours destroying slippers, shoes, and furniture. This is normal canine behavior especially while your pet is teething.
With an older dog, chewing and destroying furniture is a sign of a problem.
An older Chihuahua that indulges in such behavior especially when it is alone at home is certainly bored and has nothing better to do. Chewing helps relieve some of its boredom and is a fun diversion to keep it from getting anxious and feeling lonely. It could also be a ploy to get your attention.
Even if you are working from home, your Chi might nudge you to indicate that it is bored of doing nothing while you are scrunching numbers or typing away at your laptop.
We humans often expect our dogs to entertain themselves. But that will not happen and our dog cannot entertain itself all the time.
Chihuahuas are social creatures that love, more than anything else, to spend time with their pet parents.
Naturally, you should train your Chi to expect you to give it time on your own schedule.
As long as you exercise your dog for 30-40 minutes each day and schedule regular play times when you can, your pet should ‘learn to wait’ for its play time with you.
What Activities Do Chihuahuas Love Best?
Chihuahuas will love almost any activity that you do. It simply wants to be a part of the pack and do whatever the pack members are doing.
Having said that, most Chihuahuas love activities like walking and swimming. Some love going to the beach with their family members.
A well-socialized Chi will also love car rides and trips to the mall. It will love meeting friends and family and spending time at the Dog Park or puppy obedience school.
It all depends on how well you have socialized your Chi from puppyhood. A dog that has had a variety of experiences since puppyhood will be more confident and will gladly participate in activities that you want it to participate in.
How to Make Homemade Toys for a Chihuahua to Play With?
Here are three easy toys for your pet:
1. Crunchy-maker toy
If your Chi loves crinkly crunchy toy, this one is for you.
- Slip an old empty plastic soda bottle inside an old sock.
- Tie off the open end.
- Give it to your pet to chew and play.
2. Sock tug-of-war toy
This is an interactive toy you can use to play with your pet.
- Tie off the end of the sock with a knot.
- Insert a ball inside the sock just above the knot.
- Tie another knot over the ball.
- Seal off the open end of the sock with another knot.
- Let the tugging game begin!
3. Treat puzzle dispenser
This will keep your Chi entertained for hours!
- Use an old cardboard roll or paper towel roll.
- Cut holes into it.
- Seal off the open ends of the roll.
- Insert treats or dog food pieces inside the roll.
- See how long it takes for your Chi to access all the treats!
Conclusion – What Do Chihuahuas Like to Play With?
Chihuahuas love to play and they deserve their own toys.
Most Chihuahuas love soft, pliable, chew toys. Many also love interactive toys that help them spend more time with their humans.
You can provide a variety of toys to your Chi and note its preferences. You could also easily make homemade toys using old t-shirts and socks.
We hope this guide helps you entertain your Chihuahua!